Gopinath Munde's mortal remains cremated at Parli in Maharashtra
New Delhi, June 4, 2014
Thousands of mourners, including his family, relatives, friends, supporters and admirers, bid a tearful adieu to Union Minister Gopinath Munde as his mortal remains were consigned to the flames with full state honours at his village of Parli in Beed district of Maharashtra this afternoon.
Roars of "Gopinath Munde Amar Rahe" and "Munde Saheb Parat Ya (Munde Sir, come again) were heard as his eldest daughter Pankaja Munde-Palve lit the funeral pyre.
The crowds got restless at times as they pushed and jostled for a closer glimpse of their departed leader and were seen pelting stones at the police, which then resorted to a cane charge.
Calm was restored after an appeal from Pankaja, though there were some more incidents after the funeral, with many of the mourners demanding an inquiry into Mr Munde's death.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who was among those present at the funeral, supported the demand for a CBI probe. "The sentiments of the workers should be respected," he said.
Mr Munde, 64, who was Minister for Rural Development, was killed when his car was hit by another car while he was on his way to the Delhi airport to board a flight to Mumbai en route to Parli to attend a meeting to celebrate his victory in the recent Lok Sabha elections.
He is survived by his wife Pradnya and three daughters, including Pankaja, who is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Parli and generally considered as his political heir, an impression that was strengthened after she lit the funeral pyre of her father in a departure from traditions under which a male member of the family usually performs the duty.
Mr Munde's body was taken from Delhi to Mumbai yesterday evening and kept at his residence at Worli there before it was flown to Latur this morning and then transported to Parli for the last rites.
Several top BJP leaders such as former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari, M Venkaiah Naidu and Harsh Vardhan, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Chief Ministers of some other states and thousands of people were present at the funeral.
Mr Munde had died within seconds after his car was rammed on the side where he was seated by another car which had allegedly jumped a red signal at 6.20 am at the Prithviraj Road-Aurobindo Marg intersection in the capital.
While his car did not suffer much damage and the driver and his personal assistant did not suffer any injuries, the force of the throw-forward within the confined space of the car damaged the atlanto axial joint in his neck, and severely injured the spinal cord.
According to Union Health Miniser Harsh Vardhan, the blood vessels carrying blood supply to the brain stem (which is the seat of respiratory and cardiac centre) got disrupted and this became a cause for immediate cardiac and respiratory arrest. Besides, the liver was ruptured which caused profuse loss of blood, he said.
Doctors at the trauma centre of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), where he was rushed, tried for nearly an hour to resuscitate him but failed and finally declared him dead at 7.20 am yesterday.